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World first submarine experience launched on Great Barrier Reef

23 May 2019

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The world’s first rideshare submarine has today been launched in a landmark partnership between Tourism and Events Queensland and Uber which will showcase the Great Barrier Reef like never before.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said today’s launch of ‘scUber’ on Heron Island would give tourists a chance to experience the Great Barrier Reef by submarine for the first time in history.

Ms Jones said the promotion was designed to attract thousands of tourists in key source markets like the US, Canada, UK, France and New Zealand.

“The Great Barrier Reef is our greatest tourism asset. This will give visitors a completely new way to experience this great natural wonder,” she said. 

“We’re working harder than ever before to find new ways to showcase the unique experiences on offer in Queensland.

“This is all about boosting international visitor numbers to Queensland. We’ll tap into Uber’s vast customer base throughout North America and Europe to showcase the Reef.

“Our exclusive four-week promotion is about getting the message out to the world that the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most beautiful places on earth to visit.”

Ms Jones said the campaign would generate an extra 1.4 million visitors and deliver an additional $1.8 billion in visitor expenditure to the region over the next three years supporting 15,700 jobs.

“We’re investing more in tourism than any other government in history to attract more visitors and support local jobs,” she said.

“This campaign will support 15,700 tourism jobs in Queensland over the next three years.

“We know that visiting the Great Barrier Reef can change people’s perception. By giving more visitors direct, personal access, scUber will hopefully inspire others to come and experience the Reef’s beauty.

“During the promotion, Uber riders will have the chance to request one of the limited rides available in the three-person manned submersible and experience what the future of underwater travel could hold.”

Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said the scUber promotion would show the world that the Great Barrier Reef is brimming with life.

“This is a great win for Gladstone and for tourism businesses right throughout Central Queensland,” he said. 

“The Great Barrier Reef is the centrepiece of Queensland’s tourism offering, and Australia’s most valuable natural tourism asset, welcoming almost three million visitors per year, contributing $5.7 billion in economic value and supporting almost 59,000 full time jobs.

“This campaign will show the world through the eyes of high-profile influencers, the media and every day travellers that the reef is teeming with life, marine animals and beauty.

“The management of the Great Barrier Reef is world-leading and Queensland’s tourism industry plays a key role in protecting and advocating for the reef.

“Tourism operators in Queensland are developing innovative new experiences to meet evolving consumer trends and we hope the launch of scUber will stimulate demand for this new type of travel.”

TEQ Chief Executive Officer Leanne Coddington said it was fitting to launch the campaign 10 years on from the Best Job in the World promotion.

“Just as ‘Best Job’ was a ground-breaking way to promote the islands of the Great Barrier Reef, the launch of scUber will offer an unparalleled insight and unfiltered lens to the extraordinary underwater world of the reef,” Ms Coddington said.

“Research undertaken for TEQ in late 2018 showed us that submarine travel was at the top of travellers wish-lists as a future experience on the reef.

“scUber brings that wish to reality, and a lucky few from around the world will tell that story to the world over the next four weeks, showcasing the reef like never before.”

Susan Anderson, Regional General Manager of Uber, Australia and New Zealand, said the submarine was an innovative first for the Great Barrier Reef.

“Uber is committed to harnessing the power of technology for good. We are proud to partner with Tourism and Events Queensland to help showcase the reef to the world with the launch of scUber,” Mrs Anderson said.

“At Uber, we believe good things happen when people move - whether that’s by getting people from A to B in their city, or by making dreams come true experiencing the world’s greatest natural wonder, the Great Barrier Reef. 

“We’re looking forward to seeing how visitors to the Great Barrier Reef embrace this new form of movement and become advocates of the reef for years to come.” 

The initiative will be supported by a global integrated marketing campaign, consumer competition and retail offerings through key distribution partners like Flight Centre in the UK, House of Travel in NZ and About Australia and Aspire Down Under in the USA.

Uber users in the key source markets of the USA, Canada, UK, France, NZ and Australia will also be able to enter a competition with a winner from each market selected to travel to Queensland and experience scUber in Tropical North Queensland.

A ride in the scUber submarine will allow travellers to go beyond the limits of conventional diving to explore the Great Barrier Reef at depths of up to 30 metres, with 180-degree views, and all without getting wet.

ScUber will be available starting on Heron Island, off the coast of Gladstone in the Southern Great Barrier Reef region before moving north to Quicksilver Cruises’ Agincourt Reef off the coast of Port Douglas in Tropical North Queensland.

The once-in-a-lifetime experience will be bookable through the Uber app, strictly subject to availability, from 27 May – 18 June 2019.